If Crash Avenue were a motivational speaker, presenting to a room full of mid-level office clones, we would tell them that publicity is about promoting personality, not product. We would go on about how our artists and staff attack the task of artist visibility as a commitment, rather than a campaign. We would have analytics projected on a twenty foot screen illustrating how we engage online communities and train our clients to get the public to write their stories for them, not just outlet gatekeepers. Then, we would take a break for lunch consisting of turkey breast sandwiches and a TBD vegetarian option. Upon return, we’d ask around the room for examples of individual assets and we’d illustrate how we address each one of them individually instead of just plugging in information into a standard schedule release to outlets. We’d do a real-time presentation of how to narrowcast (we love using that word at conferences) to a client’s demographic using different streams, fitting each asset into that stream and getting a response from content farmers and the casual fan alike. We would demonstrate using testimonials from previous clienteles on how to mobilize their respective fan bases to gain traction and triple their visibility with simple tools they can take forward even after the contract is finished, and by the time the day was over the hoi polloi who attended this conference in some wood-paneled ballroom in Des Moines would all rise and feel satiated and motivated.
But we’re not motivational speakers.
We’re a media and management company.
And we don’t do that kind of lame shit.
Jeffrey Smith | Owner, Publicist – After approximately ten years in this business of music, 99% of all employees are both bitter and lazy, or have run away to the country to farm potatoes. Jeffrey Smith is the one percent. Beginning like many of us do, with a degree in jazz studies, and then later succumbing to perform in the world of pop, most would have tossed in the towel when he was signed to Mercury Records, kicked out of the band and dropped from the label on the same day. Bootstrapping himself like a bassist Baron Münchhausen, he moved on to Louisville, Kentucky where he took a sabbatical from the world of shlock rock guitar players and flimsy major label deals to become the marketing director for Louisville Ballet. While there, he ended up being pulled back into his current business by heading up publicity for an upstart label founded by the gentleman that discovered platinum-selling artist, Days Of The New. Taking a deep breath, Smith leapt off the branch and started his own PR firm, with exactly zero clients, but struck silver in 2007 when his hustling paid off and a reunited Superdrag ended up signing with his new company: Crash Avenue. Eight years later and his company has become a staple in the PR world, having offices in Louisville, Brooklyn, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Smith and his staff’s quick adaptation of new technologies and concepts have placed them firmly in the conversation for where music publicity is headed, looking to congruent industry’s successes and applying them to the current climate of this often-hellish trade. Truly Jeffrey Smith has navigated some unpredictable waters and has captained the ship to success while managing to only have to bail water a few times. You can reach Jeffrey by email at jeffrey(at)crash-avenue.com.
Spencer Keasey Scanlon | Director of Publicity – Spencer is a Western PA-raised, Brooklyn-based music nerd, who tripped and fell into the music publicity rabbithole in 2006. Starting out as an publicity intern at Central Park SummerStage, Spencer has gone on to work all over the musical spectrum- over the past 9 years, he’s put in time at Girlie Action, Pitchfork, Universal Music Group (Republic Records/Casablanca Records), the Village Voice and more. His past clients are as diverse/awesome as his experience, having worked with Morrissey, The Cure, Santigold, Holy Ghost!, The Rapture, DFA Records, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Christopher Paul Stelling, Mogwai, The Weeknd, Kavinsky, James Blake, The Lonely Island and countless others. You can reach Spencer by email at spencer(at)crash-avenue.com.
Trevor Risk | Digital Media & Content Strategy – Trevor is playing on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Being the music editor for nationally published glossy ION Magazine and working as a Candian publicist and digital strategist for Crash Avenue has benefits that work in synch. Having the perspective of a working editor helps with the marketing of the Crash Avenue roster by having a clear idea of what an editor or blogger would react positively to. Over the last few yearsTrevor has edited several issues of ION, promoted a full roster of indie bands at Crash Avenue, (and prior to that Light Organ Records), identified marketing strategies for 604 Records artists, written articles for Vice, The Huffington Post and Thought Catalog, been hired as a featured contributor at Kissing Suzy Kolber, commissioned remixes for artists, DJed hundreds of club nights in Vancouver and outside the city, recorded an eleven song album as a producer and frontman for the band Sunshine, and released the Sunshine album with guests like Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes and Woodie Taylor of Morrissey’s band. Trevor Risk can offer a unique look into how to make the big music machine work, from basically every single angle whether it be marketing and the business of art, or the creative side. You can reach Trevor by email at trevor(at)crash-avenue.com.